‘The road in is a critical piece of infrastructure’
A diamond company working on Baffin Island says it could spend 10 years extracting roughly $2.5 billion in net revenue — but first it needs to build a $95 million all-weather road to Iqaluit.
Peregrine Diamonds president and chief executive officer Tom Peregoodoff held a conference call with stakeholders Tuesday to talk about the two kimberlite pipes that make up phase one of the Chidliak diamond project, 120 km northeast of Iqaluit. Peregrine has been exploring at Chidliak since 2005.
But to get the project up and running, the company needs to build a 160 km all-season road from Iqaluit to the site. “The road in is a critical piece of infrastructure and we need that prior to commencement of construction to minimize our construction capital costs,” said Peregoodoff.
Winter road won’t cut it
Other diamond mines in the north, like Ekati and Diavik, are supported by winter roads from Yellowknife to the site, says Peregoodoff.
But those roads are mostly built on ice and operate eight to 10 weeks out of the year.
An extended winter road from Iqaluit to Chidliak would go over more rugged terrain and many parts would have to be an all-weather road anyway, says Peregoodoff.
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